Thought Leadership Series

In our Thought Leadership series, we bring together experts to explore a wide variety of topics that affect local government, thinking about new ways of working and potential innovations.

Take a look at our latest articles below.

If you'd like to suggest a topic for us to explore, or are interested in contributing, please contact

Scotland’s roadmap to COVID-19 recovery and renewal – five key actions for supporting vulnerable people and communities

Improvement Service staff working in violence against women, child poverty and inequalities set out how COVID-19 and its impacts have exacerbated existing inequalities and disadvantage. They also suggest five actions to support vulnerable people and communities.

Homeworking- COVID and beyond

Abigail Marks, Professor of Work and Employment at Stirling University, discusses how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the nature and location of work.

20 Minute Neighbourhoods

Irene Beautyman, who leads on Planning for Place at the Improvement Service, discusses 20 minute neighbourhoods, including exploring what ‘place’ is and how we move towards 20 minute neighbourhoods.

This Thought Leadership series of videos was originally part of a webinar. You can watch the webinar here:

Related to this, the Improvement Service has also published an Elected Member Briefing on 20 minute neighbourhoods. It explains the key benefits of this living local ambition and how it will apply across all of Scotland, from remote rural communities to towns and cities.  It will be of interest to elected members, officers, stakeholders and beyond.

The importance of good data for public sector improvement

A series of videos exploring the role and importance of good data for public sector improvement.

The importance of good data for public sector improvement

Homeworking for local government staff

Dr Michelle Weldon-Johns, Senior Law Lecturer at Abertay University, examines some of the issues surrounding homeworking amongst local government staff. Dr Weldon-Johns has a particular interest in examining work-life balance, work-family rights and the issues around home working from a legal perspective.